Free Advice From the Opposition

Can the Junior Senator from New York now beat the junior senator from Illinois? Barack Obama's signature campaign line—"Yes, We Can!"—was delivered with a little less gusto last week. Hillary Clinton—aglow with primary wins that gave her candidacy a stay of execution—co-opted it for herself: "Yes, We Will!"

But will she? Can she? First, in order to win, she has to club the baby seal to death. Now that she's got some electoral momentum, she must bring Obama low. She must attack him on every front: preparedness; policy inconsistencies; his association with Tony Rezko and Louis Farrakhan, among others; his commitment to Israel.

Second, Team Clinton must keep the pressure on the press to ask Obama tougher questions, and to demand answers. Like Hillary until about early January, he hasn't had to take real questions. When she started to lose, however, she started rolling oranges down the aisle of her campaign plane to break the ice with the press, buying them doughnuts and, yes, answering their questions. If Obama wants to survive, he'd better start rolling oranges down the aisle.

Third, the delegate calculation may be against her, but she must win over superdelegates by reminding them that she has won all the big industrial states, except Illinois, and that she can win the general-election popular vote once she gets out from under the Democrats' byzantine proportional allocation. Further, if she ends up beating Obama in the popular vote, she should remind her party of the Al Gore argument: that the most popular candidate ought to be declared the winner.

Clinton should also reach out to Obama's core constituencies—black voters, the young, higher earners and those with college degrees. Her message: "I forgive your flirtation with the Hope Guy, but now it's time to come home to Mommy."

And she can't turn her back on her core supporters, older women. They respond better to her when she sets aside the haughty self-righteousness and fights for what she wants—just like the men in the race do.

Finally, with her losing streak broken, she should exhale a bit, and be more herself. That means more self-effacing jokes on the late-night shows. But it also means more cannon fire.

I could go on, but I'd rather save my most potent strategies for the Republicans. Hillary is not my choice, but it has nothing to do with gender.

Free Advice From the Opposition | U.S.